The Market in Oxford dates back to approximately the late ninth Century, spreading out from Carfax corner at the City Centre
Guildsmen & traders were to be found in the middle Ages on the site, together with Student Hostels & many Butchers' shops. In fact, Queen Street was once known as Butcher's Row. The Mileways Act of 1771 put an end to the outdoor trading however.
The Covered Market became the solution however, in order to clean the main streets of the mess that accumulated. In the late Eighteenth Century John Gwynn, who designed Magdalen Bridge designed the distinctive entrances, the Market Committee commissioned the building of twenty Butchers shops, and in 1773 meat could only be sold within the market. Todays market grew from out of this.
What to buy: there are today many less Butchers giving a range of organic meats as well as rarities of excellent quality. Venison, Quails eggs & other less usual commodities can be found here for more exotic recipes. There is one fish shop, though an excellent one, as a wide variety of fish, foreign & domestic are readily available. Mussels, Crab, Cod Roe, whitebait - all are available in season & staff are so very friendly.
There are a great variety of other shops also, an engravers, the Oxford Cobbler, an Andean gift centre (though why I couldn't imagine) bakeries & juice bars, knitwear & sandwich shops are all in evidence.
Gloucester Green is a Square and a market place. It is ringed by shops & Restaurants, also by the Old Fire Station (a real fire station converted into a theatre & restaurant), the Odeon Cinema & the Bus station.
Every Wednesday Gloucester Green is the site of our general market, on other days it becomes a second hand & antique market or a Farmer's Market.
It is a new square with modern brickwork that attracts a great deal of interest from students & locals alike - and who knows, perhaps the tourists have discovered it too.
What to buy: Anything & everything, plus coffee, baguettes, kebabs, spaghetti or crepes! There is also an arcade of slot machines & a taxi rank
What to pay: Good prices here!
The Market is open every Wednesday (and possibly Thursday too - I'm not sure). there are various stalls selling antiques, old coins, cds, old records, second-hand books, and so on.
What to pay: You might find the odd bargain here though, in general, prices are not too much cheaper than in the shops.
Although I may have many pictures of the covered market, it doesn't do justice to this beautiful market and it's numerous types of shops at all. This is a great place to get anything that you would like to eat, from fish to bio meats, fruits and veggies, to many diffenrent types of restaurants or eating counters, to lovelly gift shops, jewellers and clothes boutiques as well as furniture. I have seen some beautiful and trendy china here. But the best is the atmosphere, since everyone comes to this place! It is an old covered market from the late 18th century, in which they closed up streets so that the clutter of merchants in the High street could stop, as it was growing with its increased popularity. Nowdays, many regular Oxfordians come here to do some great shopping.
Opening Hours 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday
Sunday Opening Hours 10.00am - 4.00pm
If you want to know more about the history of this covered market, go to this website.
What to buy: Here is a virtual tour of the Covered Market.
What to pay: Prices are not more nor less expensive then elsewhere. And as lunch goes I would say less for better quality.
This is a delightful place to shop with lots of unusual unique shops especially useful if its raining. There is a butchers, deli store, fishmongers & a bakery.